Friday, January 22, 2016

Survival Guide for Young Financial Professionals

Young stockbroker on the phone pointing his forefinger

As a young financial professional, you are growing your career, getting a hold on your personal finances and trying to find that allusive work-life balance. You may feel overwhelmed, but there are many strategies out there to help.

Leaders in the financial world do not get there by accident. For young financial professionals, the climb seems insurmountable. Working hard is not enough. However, there are many strategies to grow your career. Your colleagues are all smart and determined individuals. This is not enough to grow your career. Developing a niche skill, such as computer programming, puts you ahead of your peers. As a young financial professional, prepare to be flexible. Sometimes you do not land your dream job. However, when a good opportunity presents itself, take advantage of it. Successful people tend to be goal oriented and plan long term. Make long-term plans and goals for success. The final peace of career advice is to find a mentor. A good mentor will guide you onto the path of success.

Careful personal finance planning takes on high importance for a young financial professional with a new family. Develop a budget, and give all your money a job. Inevitably, the car will breakdown, or someone will get sick. An emergency fund with at least three months expenses should be a top priority. Debt is another crippling reality for many young professionals. Between student loans and credit cards, debt can be overwhelming. Stick with your budget and pay down debt as quickly as possible. Life insurance becomes much more important when you have a family. Take out a term life insurance policy worth then times your income. Retirement may be forty or more years down the road. However, you are never too young to start preparing. Take advantage of the 401k plans, IRAs and Roth IRAs.

Balancing family and work is a huge challenge for young financial professionals. There are many things you can do to achieve this balance. There will be times when you have to stay late or work on Saturday. However, take time out of every day to spend time with your family. Long commutes take up huge chunks of valuable time. Live close to work, or find a job closer to home. Plan your week to schedule family time every day. Use these tips and enjoy the extra time with your family.

Follow this advice, and you will gain control. Growing your career, handling your personal finances, and balance work and life isn’t rocket science. It just takes some planning and strategy.

David Milberg is an investment banker from NYC.

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